A festive parade celebrating the founding of the Korean People’s Army has taken place in Pyongyang in the presence of top military and political leaders, including the Respected Marshall Kim Jong-un. The parade can be viewed in its entirety below. This year the parade featured the debut of the nuclear capable Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile as well as the Pukkuksong-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile.
This comes as Seoul confirmed that on Saturday, President Moon Jae-in will host a special delegation from the DPRK which will travel south of the 38th parallel to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games in which both Korean states will march under a unity flag. The delegation will include the sister of Kim Jong-un as an official DPRK representative.
While US media have claimed that North Korea’s parade is “provocative”, in reality it is a celebration of the triumph of the Korean people against great odds. The parade carefully choreographs marching soldiers, military vehicles and musicians with the world famous North Korean “card stunt” in which multiple people synchronise the twirling of colourful cards to create larger than life images.
For the DPRK, the parade is a cultural tradition that should be seen as a gift to the wider community just as Victory Day Parades in Russia and China are important national symbols which form an important part of world culture. Ironically, it is not the DPRK but its great antagonist, the United States which is currently gripped in a heated debate over Donald Trump’s desire to hold a large military parade in Washington D.C., having been inspired by the French Bastille Day Parade which he attended in July of 2017.
In spite of continued actual provocations from the US which has stated it is considering military strikes on the DPRK, both Korean states continue to produce unique cultural displays, all while the spirit of cooperation moves forward.